We visited Grace Life Church this past Sunday. Several people have asked for me to tell them all about the services.
Isaiah was nice enough to introduce me to a friend that attends Grace Life Church. We were able to meet Brother Ed and his wife just before the services started. Thank you, Isaiah and Brother Ed.
Our usual seat in our previous church was the third row on the very right side of the platform and this time we ended up sitting in the fourth pew back on that side. Since we were so close and obviously new Pastor Noblit came down and shook our hands during the greeting time. The church was friendly enough and several people came up and greeted us before, during and after the services.
For those that live near B’ham the church was very similar in style to Dawson or Shades Mountain Baptist but not quite as large, maybe 500 – 700 people. One of the first things I noticed is that here were no hymnals in the pews. The words to the songs are projected on the two large overhead screens. The songs they sang were a combination of hymns and praise and worship songs. The robed choir sang a selection. Then they left the loft, very quietly, during a prayer and joined the sanctuary.
The sanctuary has an orchestra pit behind the podium area. It consisted of guitars, keyboards, drums, timpani, woodwinds, and brass instrumentalist. My daughter was disappointed that it didn’t seem to have strings, her favorite. A grand piano is on the platform played by Jeff Noblit’s wife. (We did met Pastor Noblit’s in-laws and they were very nice.)
Pastor Noblit is in the middle of a series on Finances. That Sunday morning the sermon was How to Be Financially Successful p2 – Spend Responsibly. For the evening service, the sermon was on Jonah – Sustaining Faith. Both sermons were very good and clearly defended the sovereignty of the Lord in all that occurs. I’ll post notes and links later.
My husband and children all enjoyed the services and would go back regularly except for the drive. I enjoyed the sermons, but must admit that I prefer more hymns and less Praise and Worship music. In addition, the music was louder than I care for, but my son (previous sound technician) says that was one of the loudest spots due to the speaker placement and our proximity to them. I can’t say it was wrong or bad just a matter of taste.
The church’s website states “We are sovereign grace in doctrine, Baptist in polity, and charismatic in worship.” I had wondered what “charismatic in worship” meant months ago and was reminded of that phrase just before we left to visit. It depends on what the definition of charismatic is but according to our family we wouldn’t have said charismatic but maybe joyful praise.
For those that will ask, no we didn’t see Paul Washer.
Voddie Baucham’s church would be very interesting to visit but someone else will have to do that since it is in Texas. His church is Southern Baptist also but it is also family integrated which we would like.
Thank you Berean Husband for planning our trip.